So, you have decided to start working out. The choice is huge, there are plenty of group and individual programs available, and you simply do not know where to start. If you feel like it would be easier to simply give it up – stop right there. We will help you find the best physical activity, one you will enjoy and find beneficial for your body and mind.
Where to start?
When you are faced with a huge choice, it can be really difficult to make one. To narrow the choice down, make sure to set the exercise goals first. This means that you should determine how many times a week you want to exercise and how much time you have. Also, you need to determine whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or simply feel better and more active. Once you set the goals, it will be much easier to find the activity, because you will know what to look for.
Choosing the right physical activity depends a lot on your references. For example, if you do not like group exercises, than aerobic may be more of a bother than a pleasure for you. If you want to start cardio exercises and you are not very social, then jogging or cycling would be a much better option for you.
Reasons for getting active
Before you choose the activity, you should think of the reasons that made you get active. If you want to build muscle and change your body shape, then doing yoga or skipping rope is probably not the best idea. If you need to relax and wind up after work, then yoga is definitely what you need. If you want to lose weight, every activity counts, but cardio will be the most beneficial in this case. Therefore, think what you want to achieve, and then explore the options you have.
When you start browsing through web pages of fitness centers, you may realize that your budget does not cover some of the programs. However, do not let this discourage you. There are plenty of exercises you can do with minimum investment, or even for free. You can access the running track in your local park any time you like, and it is completely free. You can buy small weights and a pilates band and do tons of exercises at home. Outdoor gyms are a good solution if you want to build muscle on a budget. Keep in mind that being active requires only strong will, and where there’s a will, there’s a way!
How much time you have
Last but not least, the time you have can determine the activity you will choose and how many times a week you will perform it. For example, if you have little free time and live far away from the swimming pool, you are not likely to go swimming regularly. Therefore, choose the activity that will fit in your schedule and which will allow you spend time on exercise without spending it in traffic on your way to the fitness center.…
The reasons for changing a diet may be numerous. Health issues may require you to do it, you want to lose weight, or you simply want to live healthier. Whatever your reason is, it may feel very stressful to change your eating habits all at once. Gradual approach works much better, and in this article we will tell you more about it.
Why is gradual change good for you
When people decide to change their diet, they often do it without smooth transition. This comes as a shock to your body, even though you make the change for the better. You may feel until you get used to the change and experience the severe lack of energy. Also, you may feel nervous and depressed. If you implement the changes gradually, it is less stressful and you will not feel any consequences.
When you change your eating habits one at a time, this creates healthy habits. If you change all at once, you may feel like it is temporary, which can cause you go back to the earlier diet you wanted to change in the first place.
Lastly, when you gradually implement the changes, you do not feel like you are giving up on anything. This creates a peace of mind, helps you feel balanced, satisfied and helps creating the healthy eating habits.
Tips and tricks to follow
If you want to start eating healthier and change your diet gradually, here are some ideas that will help you make the change smoothly.
First, decide what you need to change in your diet. Think of the times when you eat, the food that you consume and its quantity. Make a list of every diet habit you want to change and think what you want to exclude from your diet and what you want to include.
If you do not know how to cook, now is a good time to learn. You do not need to spend hours in the kitchen to prepare something healthy and nutritious, so there is no excuse. Cooking is a fun and creative process, and you can start by cooking at least one meal a week, and increase their number gradually.
Think of all the junk and processed food you take and think of the healthy replacements. Start by replacing one thing with its healthier alternative. For example, when you feel like eating potato chips, grab popcorn instead, or even better some vegetables. Let this become a habit, and add one new change every week or so.
Embrace your step towards change as a challenge, but do not be too strict to yourself. Even when you manage to make a full change of diet, you should not see any deviation from it as your personal failure. Eating a piece of cake at a birthday party or eating gingerbread cookies for Christmas is perfectly fine, as long as you are prepared to go on with your diet regimen afterwards.
Making changes in your diet will help you create better, healthier habits, reduce weight and feel better in general. And if you make sure to do it gradually, you will also feel happier and more satisfied about yourself, and you will never go back to the old habits again.…
When it comes to cardio exercise, the emotions of people are twofold. While some see it as a great passion, the others see it as something dreadful and too difficult. Whichever group you belong the truth is the same – cardio is definitely not something you want to skip in your exercise routine, and in this article you will find out why.
What is cardio exercise?
Cardio or cardiovascular exercise is any physical activity that increases your heart rate and makes the blood run faster. This includes jogging, cycling, using a jump rope or an elliptical trainer, to name a few.
When you do cardio, it is important to achieve target heart rate for the best results. It is between 50 and 85% of your maximum heart rate. You can calculate it by using this formula: 220 – [your age]. For example, if you are 25 years old, your maximum heart rate will be 195. When you do cardio properly and monitor your heart rate, you reduce the risk and increase all the benefits this exercise has for your body.
Stronger heart and lungs
First of all, cardiovascular exercise makes your heart stronger, since it exercises together with you. This protects you from various heart diseases. What’s more, moderate and supervised cardio activity can help patients recover after suffering some heart conditions.
Your lungs also expand and intake more oxygen when you do cardio. This increases their capacity and makes them stronger as well.
Scientific studies have shown that people who do cardio exercises 3 to 4 times a week fall asleep easier and sleep sounder. As a result, you will avoid the anxiety related with insomnia, you will wake up more rested and feel more energetic on daily basis.
Improved brain function
Cardio exercise affects another vital organ of your body – your brain. According to one study, aerobic exercise increases the size of hippocampus. This is the area of the brain related to verbal memory and learning. This means that cardio exercise can help you stay concentrated and learn better and more effectively.
Increased bone density
Osteoporosis is a loss of bone density that usually occurs at later age. Numerous factors can cause it, but it threatens women after menopause mostly. The studies have shown that people who do cardio exercises 3-4 times a week have lower risk of developing osteoporosis.
Helps beat depression
Cardio exercises are a natural source of endorphins, or the “happiness hormones”. This means that following a cardio program can help in depression treatment alongside with medication. In some cases, exercise can replace the medication completely. Even if you do not suffer from depression, but you only feel a bit blue, a good exercise will help you feel better and make your day.
Last but not least, cardio exercise helps you burn fat. Fat loss depends on the number of calories you burn, and there is nothing like cardio exercise to help you urn those calories and get rid of the excess fat. This means that you will look better, which results in feeling more self-confident.
We all overeat from time to time. What to do, one simply cannot resist their favorite cake. However, if overeating becomes a pattern, you may be suffering from a binge eating disorder. In this article, we will explain this disorder further and help you beat it successfully.
What exactly is binge eating?
Binge eating is a disorder that makes you eat uncontrollably. It is characterized by these three factors, and it is how you will recognize it:
You feel like the urge to eat is out of your control and you can help it.
After you eat, you feel extremely upset and guilty.
There is no “making up” for the overeating by vomiting or over-exercising. This is what differentiates binge eating from bulimia.
Other than this, there are some other signs that appoint to binge eating. If you think about the food all the time and eat secretly, it is also one of the signs. Also, if you eat until you are sick and if you use food as a comfort, it may also mean that you suffer from binge eating disorder. It is important to recognize the signs so you can approach to healing.
Why binge eating occurs
A lot of factors can cause binge eating to occur. It most commonly occurs after a major diet, when you return to the diet regimen you had before. Also, it is most likely to appear in puberty, when hormonal levels are uneven and self-esteem is very unstable.
Stress and pressure are also common causes of binge eating. Many binge eaters look for comfort in food when they are unable to cope with stress or pressure. This turns into a pattern, which leads to the eating disorder.
Various emotional issues can cause binge eating as well. This is particularly dangerous if people look for comfort because they feel insecure about their body. They find this comfort in food, which makes them gain weight and feel even more insecure. This creates a vicious circle that is difficult to break.
Lastly, there are some biological factors that may cause binge eating disorder. Hypothalamus may fail to send correct message about fullness. Also, lack of serotonin or improper function of pancreas can lead to this disorder.
Once you realize that you may suffer from binge eating, it is time to discover the cause, so you can beat the disorder.
Methods for beating binge eating disorder
First of all, as we mentioned, you need to realize that there is a problem and work on finding its cause. Take time to think about yourself, your life and emotions, and identify everything that may cause you to feel uneasy. Also, check the hormonal balance to see if the physiological factors are what create a problem.
After this, train yourself to become aware of what you eat. Remove all the tempting food from your fridge and pantry, and replace them by fruit and veggies. Start paying attention to what you eat instead of just stuffing the food in your mouth. Eat slowly, feel the tastes and textures, and enjoy food. Lastly, find ways to fight boredom, because it is one of the most common situations that call for binge eating. Find ways to distract yourself from food, and you will not only overcome binge eating, but spend time in a more quality way.
Snacks can have many purposes in our daily lives. They are here to satisfy hunger between the main meals, which should be their main purpose. However, we can hardly imagine watching a movie without munching on something. Also, people often eat snacks when they are nervous or simply when they are bored.
Why you should cut down on snacks
First of all, you need to change harmful snacking habits, such as eating out of boredom or while watching a movie. These habits help you gain weight and if you choose processed, industrial snacks, it is bad for your health.
Still, there are some situations when snacks are inevitable. You can feel hungry before the lunch is cooked. You really cannot imagine watching a movie without nibbling on something. In these cases, think before you reach out for a bag of greasy potato chips or a chocolate bar packed with refined sugar. There are plenty of healthier alternatives, which will not only satisfy your cravings, but also help you boost your health.
If you generally crave for sweet food, there are better ways to satisfy these cravings from grabbing a piece of cake or a bar of chocolate. Fruit is the obvious replacement, ad it can be served in a variety of ways so you can enjoy the sweetness and the richness of taste.
You can make a sweet dip by mixing low-fat Greek yoghurt with honey. Slice apples, pears, peaches or whichever fruit you like and let the dipping begin. If you are a fan of ice cream, you will be glad to know that a blended frozen banana has a rich texture just like real ice cream. You can add some cocoa, coconut flakes or other frozen fruit and create the combinations as you like.
There are plenty of healthier alternatives to processed, greasy and overly salty industrial snacks. Roasted chickpeas or homemade popcorn are the best and the fastest alternative. Also, you can make vegetable sticks and dip them in hummus, tomato sauce or Greek yoghurt with some mustard.
The options are countless, and we gave you only a few of them. Feel free to experiment and enjoy the taste of fresh, natural and healthy food.